Reutimann 'The Franchise' MARTINSVILLE, Va. - (March 27, 2009) A more confident David Reutimann sat in front of a room full of media at Martinsville Speedway today for the top-12 driver press conference NASCAR holds on a weekly basis. Typical...
Reutimann 'The Franchise'
MARTINSVILLE, Va. - (March 27, 2009) A more confident David Reutimann sat in front of a room full of media at Martinsville Speedway today for the top-12 driver press conference NASCAR holds on a weekly basis.
Typical topics about the .526-mile oval came up as well as how well the Michael Waltrip Racing camp is performing early in the season. But, out of everything, Reutimann's personality shined when he talked about a topic related to a new nickname being given to him, 'The Franchise' of Michael Waltrip Racing.
"One day, I walked up to Ty and I said 'you know I'm The Franchise," said Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry. "And unbeknownst to me, it spread like wildfire and now the crew and everybody calls me that. That's so not me, but it's funny because I like to go up into the offices upstairs and throw my feet up on the desks and maybe throw my weight around too."
Reutimann has always been humble, but he is making a name for himself this season based on his performance. When asked by a media member if he thought he has improved, he threw the question back to the media audience.
"I'm my own worst critic and you guys know better than me how I am doing," Reutimann said. "So, what do you think?"
The Zephyrhills, Fla.-native doesn't give himself much credit if any at all, but many people in the garage have taken notice of his progression in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ranks with Michael Waltrip Racing.
"He's leaps and bounds further now than he was when he first got here," said Tony Stewart. "I don't care who you are and I don't care if you just got in a wreck with him, David's one of those guys who is hard to be mad at, especially for very long. He's a good guy and a great driver.
"A lot of his runs have been overshadowed by the guys that have won or run second," Stewart continued. "But he's been a guy who's finished top five or top 10 and just constantly moved his way up all day. He didn't get the spotlight at the end of the race, but deserved to get talked about because he did a great job. Every week he just keeps getting better and better."
Reutimann is indeed getting better each week. His best finish of the season is fourth-place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and he is currently 11th in the driver and owner championship points standings. He is 187 out of first place occupied by four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon.
"It's really early in the season, but man it feels great to be among the top 12 in points," Reutimann said. "I love my team and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. I've just got to live up to my new nickname, 'The Franchise.'"